Navigation auf


Institute of Evolutionary Medicine (IEM)

Tensegrity and mechanotransduction

Summary of Research

An evolutionary perspective reveals that all life forms are structurally and functionally integrated through tension. Tensegrity-based architecture is ubiquitous in biology (biotensegrity) and facilitates the direct translation of mechanical stimuli into genetic and biochemical responses (mechanotransduction). It allows organisms to immediately respond to their environments and to coordinate with each other through the mechanical responsiveness inherent in their basic structure. Tensegrity structures are unique as they allow function to be maintained as form changes, which is essential for evolution and development. This characteristic also provides the resilience critical to maintaining health over the changes occurring over an organism’s lifespan, even those necessary to survive under extreme conditions such as hibernation. As would be predicted because of the fundamental importance of tensegrity and mechanotransduction to life and evolution, changes in them impact the pathogenesis of many diseases.

We reviewed the literature on mechanotransduction in the pathogenesis of heart failure with preserved and with reduced ejection fraction. Furthermore we reviewed the literature on tensegrity and mechanotransduction as an overall evolutionary principle of biostructures and the consequences for pathophysiology of several diseases in the case of disruption of this biostructure.


Project leader





  • Mäxi Foundation